Guide to creating your own "Backyard Biodiversity" Traditional project


This guide has been prepared for those looking to join the Umbrella project "Backyard Biodiversity (Australia)" by creating their own "Backyard Biodiversity" projects on iNaturalist to help track observations from their properties.

Any resident of Australia is welcome to follow this guide to create their own "Traditional" project to help track observations recorded on their property and then request their project be included in the Umbrella project. This guide will also provide a method for ensuring that the location of your property remains obscured.

Follow the steps below to create your own Traditional project and start building a collection of observations from your own backyard.


Background
This guide assumes you already have an iNaturalist account and some experience using the platform. If you are new to iNaturalist check of the Help page. It is generally not recommended that new users create projects until they have gained familiarity with the platform.


Prerequisites
In order to create at Traditional project, users must have uploaded at least 50 observations. The reason for this is explained in THIS blog post.


Reason for Creating a Traditional Project to Collect Backyard Observations
The new format "Collection" projects are ideal for collecting all observations from a particular place or of a particular taxa. A "Place" is created with a boundary and all observations within it of the designated taxa are automatically included in the project. However, when an observation location is obscured, either due to the taxa being on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species list or due to user preference, then the location marker is scattered to somewhere within an approximately 20km x 20km square. As this is likely to fall outside the project place boundary, it is not included in the Collection project.

So suppose you want to create a project showing all the observations from your own backyard, but don't want the exact locations made public. You choose to obscure the location of the observations. Now if you create a Collection project using your property as the Place, most of the observation locations will not fall within the project place boundary. The project may include no observations.

This is where a Traditional project can be of value. Observations are added to Traditional projects manually and don't need to be associated with a particular Place. If you have your own Traditional project, you can add all your backyard observations without publicly displaying the exact locations.


Example Traditional Project
So what does such a Traditional project collecting backyard observations look like? The project "Backyard Biodiversity (cobaltducks)" is one I have created to collect all the observations from my backyard. It has been set up using the steps in this guide. Note that the map shows all observations as obscured.


Setting Up Your Own Traditional "Backyard Biodiversity" Project
The process is a relatively simple one but does include a number of steps. Please follow the steps below closely. Any issues, please ask in the comments section or send me a message.


Step 1: Creating Your Traditional Project

  • Follow the link to the Projects page. Scroll to the last paragraph on the page discussing Traditional projects and click the link in the text. This will open the page to start a new Traditional project.
  • If you wish for your project to be included in the Umbrella project "Backyard Biodiversity (Australia)" please in the "Title" section call your project "Backyard Biodiversity (username), where 'username' is your user profile name. This will make the project easier to find and provide consistency for the Umbrella project.
  • Leave the "Project Type" as "Normal"
  • To add a "Project Icon" click "Choose File". I suggest using your user profile icon here.
  • To add a "Project Cover" click "Choose File". This image will be a banner at the top of the project page. Choose any image you find suitable.
  • In the "Preferred Membership Model" select "invite-only"
  • In the "Preferred Submission Model" select "project curators"
  • In the "Description" box you can explain your project function and background. You can include your property size and local environment type. If you are planning to join the associated Umbrella project please include the following line somewhere in the description: This project is part of the Umbrella project "Backyard Biodiversity (Australia)."
  • The "Terms" section can remain blank at this stage.
  • The "Location" section can remain blank as you alone will be adding new observations and can ensure only those seen in your backyard are included.
  • In the "Observation Rules" section select "Add a New Rule" and choose "be verifiable" from the drop down list. This will ensure that only verifiable observations can be included, and casual observations of cultivated and captive organisms are excluded.
  • The "Project List", "Observation Fields" and "Tracking Codes" sections can remain blank for now.
    Now click "Create" to create your new Traditional project.


Step 2: Adding Observations to Your Project
Your project has now been created but does not yet have any observations included. These need to be added manually.

  • Open up the page to one of your backyard observations that you wish to include in the project.
  • Scroll down and on the right hand side of the page you'll see the option "Add to a Project". Click in the box and begin typing in the name of your project. It should appear in a drop-down list as you type. Find it, and select the project.

This observations is now included in your Traditional project and it should show this on the list of associated projects on the observation page.


Step 3: Obscuring the Observation Location (Optional)
If you wish to ensure that your property location remain private, then each observation added to the project will need to have its geoprivacy set to "Obscured". You may have already set the observation location to obscured when you first uploaded the observation. If you haven't, then follow the steps below.

  • Go to the page for the observation you want to update.
  • Select the blue "Edit" button in the top right hand corner of the page.
  • Under the satellite map shown on the edit page select the drop down list next to "change geoprivacy" and change it to obscured.
  • Now scroll down the page and "Save observation"

The system may take a few minutes to update, but the observation location will be obscured. However please note that if you are logged into iNaturalist, you will see the exact location on both the observation page and on the project page. To test this, log out and find your observation and project pages and note that the exact locations are not shown.


Step 4: Adding New & Past Observations
Adding new observations to the backyard biodiversity project is as simple as ensuring the observation location is obscured and then adding the project on the observation page.
If you have a large number of observations already uploaded, and wish to add them to the project, they can be done one by one, or by the "Batch Edit" option on the "Edit Observations" page.


Step 5: Joining the Umbrella Project "Backyard Biodiversity (Australia)"
After creating your backyard biodiversity project, you can request to have your project included in the associated Umbrella project by sending me a message or requesting in the comments section below.


Posted by cobaltducks cobaltducks, January 29, 2020 00:25

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